Keith L. March, MD, PhD, FACC, has dedicated his career to bringing new medical approaches to patients. His publications include more than 170 manuscripts. He was the editor of the first book dedicated to cardiovascular gene transfer. Dr. March’s research has resulted in more than 60 worldwide (20+ U.S.) patents, with others pending. He invented the Closer, a widely-utilized patented suture-mediated closure device, used to close the puncture wound in an artery following heart catheterization. This device allows a patient to “walk off the table” after a catheterization without requiring prolonged bedrest. In 1999, Abbott Vascular, an affiliate of Abbott Laboratories, acquired the company that developed this technology; and the Closer approach has been used worldwide to treat more than 9,000,000 patients. He has served as a scientific advisor to numerous pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies. More recently, he co-founded Theratome Bio, based on a patented platform of technology originating in his laboratory that establishes the therapeutic factors secreted by stem cells as powerful therapeutics for critical medical needs, including degenerative and ischemic diseases of the nervous system. With FDA input, Theratome Bio is pursuing this off-the-shelf approach to markedly reduce stroke and prolong quality life in ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), as two near-term goals.
His laboratory focuses on vascular biology, with a particular emphasis on the function and translational study of stem cells found in the adipose (fat) tissue, which his laboratory identified as cells with critical roles in blood vessel growth and control of inflammation. Dr. March is recognized as a leading expert in the field of adult stem cell research, particularly that involving adipose-derived stem cells. From 2008-2012, he was Chair of the National Institutes of Health Data and Safety Monitoring Board that oversees cell therapy trials in the areas of heart, lung, and blood diseases. Since 2012, he has been an investigator in the Cardiovascular Cell Therapy Research Network (CCTRN), involving seven lead centers in the USA working together to conduct NIH-sponsored cell therapy clinical trials. He has spearheaded FDA approval to conduct multiple U.S. trials employing one’s own fat-derived stem cells or umbilical cord lining-derived stem cells, including an ongoing trial (SUCCESS) to test these cells in the treatment of COVID-19, and three cell-based therapy trials authorized by FDA in early 2021, addressing critical medical needs in other pediatric and adult patient populations.
In addition to his research roles, Dr. March has served as the President (2007) of the International Federation of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS), and on the IFATS Board as well as other advisory committees and boards in the field. He continues to work to advance collaboration as well as public awareness about the significance of adult stem cells, and to provide consultative assistance in obtaining FDA approval for cell-based therapies. During the recent pandemic, he developed a complementary passion for advancing a disruptive digital health model using a high-touch patient-centered approach to improve wellness. This vision is being implemented by the team of Kindly Reminders, LLC.